For The Oldham Era
Published: March 11, 2015
By RAE HODGE
During what has become a neck and neck race for the nomination among Republican would-be’s for the Kentucky governor’s mansion, the Oldham County GOP Women’s Club heard from candidate Matt Bevin on Tuesday.
Bevin joined the group to discuss his position on families, military service, Right to Work legislation, and women’s issues.
“This War on Women argument is an unfair argument,” he said, accusing the press of manufacturing gender inequality in Republican party politics.
Bevin turned his speech to his running mate Jenean Hampton, “The fact that she is a black woman in Kentucky as a Republican puts her in fairly select company,” he said, adding “It’s going to matter in the general election. If there’s a ticket being sold out of the Republican side that doesn’t have a woman on it, fairly or otherwise, you’re going to hear that narrative.”
The National Conference of State legislatures holds that in 2013 Republican women were elected to state government at only half the rate Democratic Women were.
When Bevin was asked afterward what he would do on a state level to address the gender disparity in his party, Bevin said that he didn’t know, but that even with slight increases in Republican registration among women “we still aren’t seeing the commensurate elected positions.”
Bevin was asked what the obstacle was in getting female Republicans elected.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I wish I had an answer for you there.”
But Bevin says he’s also not confident about signing a wage equality bill if he were elected Governor, adding “You can’t guarantee an outcome. That’s the sad reality of it. I could want anything I want, but this has never been a nation nor will it ever be a nation that can guarantee equal outcomes. It’s impossible.”
Bevin also explained his position against Kentucky’s state healthcare exchange, Kynect.
“I am the only candidate that has come out in favor of completely dismantling Kynect,” Bevin told the group.
When asked afterward how he could do so without cutting services for the nearly half a million Kynect participants in the state, Bevin advocated for transferring Kynect users to a federal healthcare exchange program in order to save state dollars.
Bevin, a former member of the U.S. military, also spoke on the homeless veteran population in Kentucky.
Bevin accused the current administration of mismanaging funds and lacking organiation.
“Our military retirees are mature, important members of our community,” he said, but “We are spending too much money.”
His speaking event fell on the same day a Bluegrass Poll was released, showing him in a dead heat at 20 percent approval, with Republican candidate Jamie Comer, though trailing behind candidates Hal Heiner and Louisville Democrat Jack Conway.
Bevin is scheduled to continue his campaign in Kentucky, making stops through northern Kentucky next week.